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The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)

“The List of Adrian Messenger” (1963) a film directed by John Ford, produces an interesting mystery and an even more interesting list of cameo character appearances by famous Hollywood stars of the day. The premise of the film has a semi-retired MI6 officer, George C. Scott, investigating the whereabouts of a puzzling list of men who appear to have all gone missing. Kirk Douglas pops up throughout the film, eventually revealing himself to be one George Brougham, a long lost son who re-emerges from the Colonies (a.k.a Canada).

A fox hunt and a manhunt ensue. Will the fox be caught? Will the innocent young heir to the family fortune be spared a gruesome fate? Will his attractive widowed mother end up with the right suitor? All is set right in the end and the villain is “unmasked”.

But what really kept my interest the first time I saw the film on SNAM in the wee hours of the morning many moons ago was the hunt for the Hollywood stars. I just couldn’t figure out how you could manage to get Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum and Burt Lancaster into this odd little production. The joke was on the audience of course. The ending reveals all!

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